News Details

Is Retiring to the Med from the Gulf now ‘The Preserve of the Wealthy’

Date Posted: Thu, 01 Jul, 2021

Is Retiring to the Med from the Gulf  now ‘The Preserve of the Wealthy’

Britons thinking of retiring to the sunny Med should be aware of the additional financial and residence issues they now face- by BBG Dubai Member Jason Porter

If you are considering retiring to an EU country there are many other issues to deal with post-Brexit. You will now need to obtain a visa or residency permit in advance of arrival and as a result, provide much more documentation upfront. Not securing the right paperwork and errors in your application may mean you have to apply multiple times – at a cumulative cost. You may also have to have documents translated – again at a cost.

Many may find it easier to employ an immigration expert, whilst some specialist ‘Golden Visas’ are recommended only to be completed by a professional – a further expense.

If you intend to retire to the Med, then you will now also need to demonstrate that you have sufficient income to support you and your family without being a burden on the state. In Spain, for instance, you must prove sufficient resources of €27,115, plus €6,778 for each additional family member per annum.

Also, depending on your age and UK National Insurance history, you may also have to acquire private medical insurance, at least for the first year.

All of this means that visa and residency permit applications will only be successful if you can meet these administrative demands and financial requirements; some of those UK nationals who moved to the EU when the UK was a member state would not qualify under these new rules.

Much has been written about ‘Golden Visas’, which allow Britons to gain flexible residency rights in many EU countries in exchange for investing a substantial sum in local property or investing some other way in the economy.

Not only does a Golden Visa require a minimum amount to be spent on local real estate, business or other investment, it can also require an average of a €5,000-€6,000 fee for each application, with professional fees at a similar level per person. One EU state’s most flexible visa can result in €40,000 in lost fees if the application is declined or goes wrong.

It is therefore imperative to get the application right with the correct documentation, so both the fee and your time are not wasted.

Please refer to and for the latest on how Brexit affects Britons moving to Europe.

Jason Porter is a Director of specialist expat financial advisers Blevins Franks and head of the company’s new European Emigration Advisory Service.